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Ask Casa: A Bedroom Update

Dear Casa,

I purchased an Ikea malm bed frame in birch veneer about a year ago. My decor has changed drastically in that year and the bed no longer matches. Do you know of a way to paint or stain the bed, so that it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb?


To see my answer, just


Dear PrimpPrimp,

In an earlier post, I wrote about how Danny Seo used iron-on veneer to improve an old table. He had great results, but he was also working with a larger surface area, and it seems as if trying to do so on all of the disparate surfaces of your bed might be really time-intensive. Painting would definitely be an easier option.

If you want to paint your veneer, start your project by first repairing any problems with the veneer. Use wood glue to reattach any peeling veneer. If the veneer is cracked or missing, you'll have to glue on new pieces to ensure a consistent surface. Then, clean the surface with some soapy water and let it dry. Lightly sand the veneer, and then dust it so the surface is clean. You'll need to apply at least two coats of primer such as Kilz low-VOC primer, making sure to sand between coats. Finally, apply two coats of paint, and you're set!

As far as staining veneer, you can only successfully stain veneer if it has solid wood beneath the veneer. In the case of the Ikea malm bedframe, it's made of fiberboard and particleboard, so it's not advisable to stain it.

Hope this helps!

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